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Sun Oct 26, 2014, 07:53 AM

Invisible fence in front yard

My daughter was walking my in laws lab while I had our border collie and aussie. We use five foot leashes. As we passed one house the lab strayed approximately 1-2 feet to the inside of the sidewalk. Another lab being controlled by the electric fence attacked our lab. The fence line was within one foot of the sidewalk. No injuries but very scary for us, and led to questions from the neighbor with the electric fence about incursion into their front yard.

I think it is insane to try to control your dog with an electric fence in the front yard. This is one reason. A child running through the yard would be another. Just be scared and forced into the roadway would be another. Also being scared and injuring yourself reacting to the dog charging the fence line.

I have done some research but I wonder what are the easement entitlements for pedestrians in the front yard? That brings up the second question of dogs who defecate/urinate on another person's property. All of our dog waste goes immediately into a bag. I guess I never gave it any thought before now. Dogs do what dogs do. It is actually illegal to walk on a roadway in our community when a sidewalk is available. I don't think a five foot leash is unreasonable. The shorter one (three foot) hurts my back.

Anyone have any opinions.

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Reply Invisible fence in front yard (Original post)
exboyfil Oct 2014 OP
TorchTheWitch Oct 2014 #1
exboyfil Oct 2014 #3
TorchTheWitch Oct 2014 #4
exboyfil Oct 2014 #6
newfie11 Oct 2014 #2
TorchTheWitch Oct 2014 #5

Response to exboyfil (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 08:58 AM

1. Call the police

I'm serious. One of these days one of those dogs is really going to hurt someone, human or dog. All dog attacks whether on humans or dogs need to be reported.

Personally, I hate the idea of an electric fence. I don't believe any dog can be trusted in all situations to remain in the boundaries... as you experienced. I don't believe this dog/s have never done this before. Though I know some dogs that either by training or by electric fence never leave the front yard. But maybe that's a temperament thing... they just don't have any interest in humans or animals.

Are you sure they even have an electric fence or that it was activated?

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Response to TorchTheWitch (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 09:52 AM

3. The dog had the collar

and the owners claimed they had the fence. The dog must have been receiving quite a shock though (guess it would depend on the setting). I am going to do some research on the pedestrian right of way and the leash law before calling the police I will give whatever info I find out to the dog owners if it shows they have a problem. I don't like to escalate situations if it can be avoided. I do know that my daughter was on the sidewalk with a approximately a 4 foot leash (it is shorter than my leashes). Both dogs were biting at each other.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 11:51 AM

4. Any time a dog attacks another it's a legal issue

Of course, there are exceptions like when a dog attacks for reasonable reasons as in protecting themselves or another either human or animal or an invasion of their territory. The problem with an electric fence is that other people and other animals don't know it's there. All the time people walking their dogs let their dog on the edge of the properties of other people to sniff at something, pee on a bush, etc. An electric fence needs to be not so close to the edge of the property as to allow for other people and other animals wandering on it. What if a child should fall off a bike and land on the property? What if someone's walking past the property on the sidewalk becomes frightened at a car horn or other loud noise close to them so that they jump back and land on the edge of that property? To the dogs that live on that property those people/pets are fair game. I REALLY wish that electric fencing in front yards was illegal - it really should be.

What type of fence they have isn't really the problem here though. State laws require that dog owners contain/control their dogs in such a way as they can't cause anyone or any pet harm. Whatever the problem is with their electric fence doesn't matter - it's not containing their dog/s, and one of them was able to attack your dog while yours was on a public sidewalk.

You don't need to do any research about right of way, etc., etc. The laws in all states already provides that dogs have to be controlled/contained at all times where ever they are. If your daughter and your dog where INSIDE THEIR HOUSE they're still at fault for not controlling their dog from attacking yours. The police know the dog laws far better than any research you could do about it, and frankly, you'd just be wasting your time. I can already tell you that ANY time, ANYwhere someone's dog attacks another person or the pet of another person they are responsible. Of course, there are exceptions like I mentioned above.

In these dog attack situations it's always best to not involve the owner of the offending dog. You never know how they may react especially when you involve the police. If this is a first incident of this dog (as far as the police know) all they'll do is go and talk to the people and tell them their responsibility in controlling/containing their dog, let them know about the incident that brought them out, and make sure that the people sufficiently contain/control the dog on their property so that it isn't able to attack anyone or anyone's pet.

Sidewalks are public property. Of course your daughter and your dog should have been able to use that sidewalk without someone else's dog attacking your dog. If they had an actual physical fence their dog obviously couldn't get to anyone using the sidewalk. If their electric fence doesn't work to keep their dog/s from having access to anyone using the sidewalk then it's not a sufficient fence. Doesn't matter if the fence is electrical or physical - it didn't do its job in containing/controlling their dog/s.

A physical fence keeps the dog on the property and also keeps anyone on the sidewalk from stepping onto that property even accidentally. Dogs aren't responsible either if a person reaches over or through a fence if they get their arm bitten. The whole purpose of a fence is clear: keep all your appendages off of my property, and I'll keep my dog from being able to attack anyone that's on public property. Even someone having a fence that a dog can get its head over that is so close to the public property that it can lean forward and bite someone walking past the fence but not intruding any part of their body beyond that fence into the air space of the property is an insufficient fence.

One of my neighbors a few blocks away has such an insufficient fence. Their dog goes mad when anyone walks down the sidewalk that their fence is right up against the edge of the sidewalk, and now that it's full grown it can stick it's head over the fence and bite anyone just walking down the sidewalk. Thankfully, my dog just prefers the opposite side of the street, but many times I've seen other people walk by that fence and nearly had a shoulder bitten off. I told myself to call the police about that but forgot about it, but now I'm going to today just because of this discussion. I'm embarrassed I'd forgotten about it for so long.

I'm serious as a heart attack here and can't emphasize enough you NEED to report this to the police. You're just lucky that neither your daughter or your dog (or you if you were there) got hurt. But this WILL continue to happen to unsuspecting others, and they might end up getting hurt and maybe a small dog being killed or a small child being bitten and frightened to death... you just don't know, and it's far too dangerous a situation to just brush off or try to deal with yourself. You owe it to those future others to do the right thing and tell the police the problem and let them handle it, and the sooner, the better.

In future, it's never a good idea to talk to the owners yourself. You don't know these people and can't know how they might react. Let the police handle it so that you can remain anonymous and avoid any possible blowback. Don't feel bad for the people. Any dog owner not able or willing to control their dog, and the dog attacks anyone or anyone's pet all bets are off. This is the kind of thing that the police are for, and they have tons of experience in all kinds of other dog attack situations so they know the various laws inside and out and assess each scenario as to who's at fault or is anyone at fault. Clearly, the fault in your situation is that of the owners of the attacking dog because their electric fence doesn't work appropriately in containing/controlling their dogs.

Please let us know what happens. I'm so sorry that this happened to your daughter and your dog but very glad neither was much harmed.

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Response to TorchTheWitch (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 09:20 PM

6. Thanks for the thoughtful reply

Once I figure out the address, I will call the police department.

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Response to exboyfil (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 09:04 AM

2. My daughters lab would run through the electric fence

Yelping and run back through yelping.
The other problem is it doesn't stop other dogs from coming into the yard and possibly attacking the dog that lives there.

Our yard is fenced, 1 acre (we live rural) with a woven wire fence. One of our Newfies figured out he could dig under. We put a hot wire 8 inches (above ground, like you would use for livestock but lower) from the fence all the was around 5 years ago. Now no one goes close to the fence.
The combination worked great for us but without the 5 foot woven wire fence the would have jumped that hot wire.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 11:52 AM

5. exactly

I think they're worse than useless and shouldn't be legal.

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